Ney Bailey, one of the early leaders in Campus Crusade for Christ, sent a great reminder of how God takes care of us even when things look bleak or undesirable.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll never forget the time I invited Elisabeth Elliot to come speak to our women who were ministering in Eastern Europe when the Iron Curtain was still up and the countries were closed. The conference was in September, and 75 of us were meeting near Vienna in a classroom with tiered seating and desks. I was seated by Elisabeth during a break when an obviously anxious young woman came and stood in front of her. With a voice full of angst and stress she began to explain her situation to Elisabeth:
Woman: Ã¢â‚¬Å“My husband and I moved here from the states with our two children in January, and we have
looked and looked and looked for a house to live in and after all these months we have been unable to find
anything! We have been forced to live with first one family for a few months….and now we have been with
yet another family for several months. School is about to start again, and we still havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t found a house!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Elisabeth (calmly): Ã¢â‚¬Å“You must not need a houseÃ¢â‚¬Â
That was the last response the young woman expected Elisabeth to have after her elaborate explanation of desperately needing a house and not finding one. I, too, was initially a bit taken aback by ElisabethÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s words.
Woman(astonished, mouth open, quizzically): Ã¢â‚¬Å“I must not need a house?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Elisabeth (authoritatively):Ã¢â‚¬Å“You must not need a house… Ã¢â‚¬ËœMY God shall supply ALL YOUR NEEDS according to His riches in Christ JesusÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ (emphasis ElisabethÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s). If you needed a house, you would have a house.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Woman (stunned):Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a house because I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need a house?Ã¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a house because I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need a house…I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a house because I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need a house…Ã¢â‚¬Â
(I was seeing her change before my very eyes as she repeated these unbelievable words…convincing
herself and coming to the truth of ElisabethÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s words as she repeated them over and over.)
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Wait till I tell my husband we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a house because we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t NEED a house! IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going to go phone him right now!Ã¢â‚¬Â She had come to Elisabeth full of anxiety and puzzlement. She walked away in awe of the truth of what she had heard and received into her heart.
When I saw the woman again a couple years later I asked her about that incident. She said not long after the encounter with Elisabeth they found a wonderful house. But she realized in retrospect that God had used the time of not having a house and living in the homes of others to acclimate her and her family to a new culture. Those families had become some of their dearest friends and are to this day. God had known what they needed the most.
Chuck Swindoll writes: Ã¢â‚¬Å“GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s plans are beyond our understanding and too deep to explain. Perhaps God doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t explain Himself because knowing and understanding His way may not help us all that much. Stopand ask yourself: Does knowing why really help? Is the pain removed by knowing the cause? Ours is a worldfilled with devastating catastrophes.Ã¢â‚¬Â
This includes terrorism, political turmoil and the recent financial Ã¢â‚¬ËœearthquakesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ affecting us all.